145th Challenge

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

Week of 12-12 through 12-18-2017

Hosted by Priceless Joy at


By Neel Anil Panicker

Ismail Makhtoum stared at the strange concoction that had arrived on his table. For a moment he was tempted to call out to the waiter, the liveried ever smiling cartoonish character clad in a seven piece costume that reminded him of the Annual Fancy Dress Competitions back in his much lived much loved childhood in rural Ambosa.

Or still better, he wanted to kick the table aside and walk out of this fancy restaurant and walk into the nearest roadside shack by the beach and indulge in some serious lip smacking business__ducking and digging his teeth into straight of the sea slow cooked deep fried silvery salmons liberally peppered with what else but pepper and a dash of lemon.

But instead he looked through the grossly mangled partially sun burnt caterpillar like formations that crisscrossed the length and breadth of the fancy bone china plate and found what he was looking for.

The five gramme gold biscuit was there as promised.

He scooped it off and safely placed it in his inner trouser pockets alongside the evening tickets to New Delhi.

Just another day had begun in a carrier’s career.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction #flash #shortstory #FFAW #SOMEDISH



FFfAW Challenge-Week of December 5, 2017

Hosted by Priceless Joy at



This week’s photo prompt is provided by Enisa. Thank you Enisa!

By Neel Anil Panicker

Inspector Sharma peeped in through the shattered glass panes.

A half eaten pizza, its edges smeared in blood, popped out of a Mcdonald’s take away box that rested on the plush seat covers.

The body lay slumped on the steering wheel, the hands loosened to the sides, the gun, a semi-automatic Colt, popping out of the jeans side pockets.

‘It looks like a gang war? Majid was a marked man.’

Inspector Sharma unburdened himself from the brand new Audi.

Why does this dimwit indulge his brain when he doesn’t have one.

“Pandey, arrange for the post-mortem immediately. Call forensics. I want every inch of space earched with a fine comb”.

‘Ok, Sir…sir…the cat…what do we do with it?’

Sharma turned around and looked at the front seat. She was still lost to the world.

“Don’t worry, she’s fine. She’s got many more lives to live”.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #FFfAW #fiction #flash #shortstory #145words



143rd Challenge

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

Week of 11-28 through 12-04-2017

by Priceless Joy at


By Neel Anil Panicker

“Sir, I, I …me…I mean I was here…about to enter the lift when…”

Crime Branch Senior Inspector Yashwant Sharma looked through his rimless oval glasses at the bumbling figure in from of him and wondered not for the first time that evening whether the man in front of him could be the killer or worse, did he have it in him to be the killer.

His brain screamed a big ‘NO’.

The man was a shade under five feet and was blessed with a body shape that looked like a cross between a scraped off chicken bone and an half-formed mouse from a laboratory experiment gone horribly wrong.

The woman, an Amazonian near six feet, was found dead on the bedroom floor, strapped to a steel chair, her hands tied to the back with thick plastic rope, her face a mashed potato.

It looked like someone had stomped all over her. And there was no way this

grasshopper of a man, her husband, could have done this deed, the wily cop surmised.

If so, then who?

Did he pay someone to kill her?

If not, then who else?

Inspector Sharma’s detective brain turned into a kite straining to break off its harness.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #FFfAW #fiction #flashfiction #inspectorsharmacrimeseries




Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

Hosted by Priceless Joy at


Thank you Footy and Foodie for our photo prompt this week!

By Neel Anil Panicker

Sunrise or sunset__she never could make out which she liked more.

Guess, everything depended on her mood.

The early dawn slow heating up of the shell-splattered sea sands as she sat around the rocky edges, her hands gently getting warmer with the touch of foam washed waters filled her heart with a glow that stayed with her all through the day. Dawns dawned new meanings into her life and filled up all empty crevices of her heart with love and happiness.

Come evenings she watched with resigned anticipation at the ever darkening silhouette of the setting sun as it bid goodbye to earthly pleasures hiding behind the distant mountains edges.

The slow metamorphosis of the dawn’s mesmerizing golden orb into a darkish charcoal singed her heart, dousing all nascent desires of the day.

She loved them both, equally and evenly.

Of late, the setting sun the more, especially so after Alfred’s murder, a death she had waited for long.

©nelanipanicker2017 #fiction #FFfAW #shortstory #158words


FFfAW Challenge-Week of November 14, 2017

Hosted by the ever charming Priceless Joy at


By Neel Anil Panicker

As a kid Inspector Sharma hated going to school.

While his classmates unfailingly attended school even on days when they felt slightly under the weather hoping that by just walking past the imposing school portals, all their illnesses would vamoose like the near extinct Sunderbans Royal Bengal Tigers, young Sharma would be safely tucked in bed, having successfully convinced his guileless parents about being afflicted with one indecipherable illness or the other.

But that was over four score years ago; an age when innocence reigned supreme, when young and old, man and woman__all behaved well, treating the world and its backyard as one large family.

All that was in the past. Circa 2017, the present, stared out at the Senior Crime Branch cop from the semi-blackened brick-kiln back walls of the school washroom.

“Sir, it looks like an inscription, maybe some encrypted code language that the killer left behind”.

Inspector Sharma looked sideways, honouring his junior with a smirk.

What’s the body count so far, Pandeyji?”.

‘Seven, as of today.’

Inspector Sharma felt a knot forming inside his chest. Hurriedly, he unbuttoned his chest buttons. He knew heart attacks among his tribe were a dire occupational hazard.



FFfAW Challenge-Week of 11-07-2017

Hosted by Priceless Joy  at


By Neel Anil Panicker

 ‘Come, let me tell you a tale. Long long ago in time…’

“Papa, is this another one of your dragon stories? I am so bored of hearing them again and again.”

‘Well then my son, I will tell you a modern dragon tale?’

“A modern dragon tale? I thought there were no dragons and even if there were any, they all died or vanished millions of years go.”

‘Well,  very true my son, but a few survived. Two in particular and they are hell bent on destroying themselves.’

“Oh! is it so,Papa? I am curious now. Tell me, who they are? where they live? Everything.”

‘Oh! That one is easy. One straddles all over America and the other lords over North Korea.’

“Pops, I don’t mind they fight and destroy each other as long as they do no harm to the world around them.”

‘Same here, but looks like they are hell bent on destroying this beautiful world as well, my son.’

“Are they that powerful, Pops? Do they have huge sharp teeth, are their backs full of scales and spikes, are their mouths fireplaces and their noses chimneys, and are their toenails long sharp daggers?”

‘More than that, my dear son. They’re just mad.’



FFfAW Challenge-Week of October 31, 2017

Hosted by Priceless Joy at


By Neel Anil Panicker

She isn’t much; just four raised oblong stone slabs; the edges, pointed and jutting out into the skies.

Half hidden behind the majestic branches of a huge peepal tree in a forested outgrowth in the village periphery, what she lacks in finesse and substance she more than makes up on the reverential sweepstakes.

A child beset by jaundice, another downed by yellow fever, a woman wishing for her family’s welfare, another asking for deliverance from the daily grind of life __they all come to her __men, women, children__ the born, the just born, the to be born; the old and the young; the also living and the near dying__,every single one of them makes a beeline to Mahakali __to pay obeisance, to pray, to smear vermillion on her pitch black ever shining visage, to shower her with flowers and rice and lentils and whatever it is that they could procure from their roofless homes and hearths.

She disappoints none; least of all her ‘keeper’ who partakes of the goodies once darkness descends.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #FFfAW #mahakali #goddess #faith #flash #fiction #shortstory #172words